Saturday, 12 August 2017 00:19

LONDON 2017 - FOUR-TIME TITLE WINNER REECE’S GOLDEN TRIBUTE TO LATE GRANDFATHER

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It was drama all the way in a gripping women’s long jump final, with three different leaders in the opening three rounds and a shift in the medal positions in the last two rounds. When the dust settled, Brittney Reece was left standing as a four-time world long jump champion, matching a feat achieved on the men’s side by fellow US athlete Dwight Phillips and Cuba’s Ivan Pedroso.

In the stadium where she leapt to Olympic gold in 2012, the 30-year-old’s third round jump of 7.02m (0.1m/s) earned her a fourth world title to set alongside those she bagged in Berlin in 2009, Daegu in 2011 and Moscow in 2013.

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks, with the death of my grandfather,” said Reece. “This is for him."

Darya Klishina, competing as an authorised neutral athlete, led with 6.78m in the opening round and finished with silver, courtesy of a 7.00m leap in round five.

Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic led in round two with 6.96m and was in a medal position until the final round. Tianna Bartoletta of the US, the champion in Helsinki in 2005 and in Beijing in 2015 and a member of the US quartet who smashed the 4x100m world record at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, uncorked a 6.97m jump to snatch bronze.

It was the first time in six successive global championships, outdoors or in, that the fourth-placed Spanovic had failed to land a medal.

When Dafne Schippers returned home to Utrecht after winning the 200m at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing in a European record 21.63, she had a seal named in her honour and also a road, Dafne Schipperslaan.

The former heptathlete who has assumed the historical mantle of Fanny Blankers-Koen as the 21st Century Flying Dutchwoman did not exactly retain her title by a street but in timing her seasonal peak to perfection she had just enough in the tank to strike gold again.

Powering round the bend level with Marie-Josee Ta Lou and battling down the home straight with the Ivory Coast sprinter who missed 100m gold by 0.01, Schippers prevailed by 0.03 in 22.05, a season’s best. Ta Lou took silver in 22.08, a national record, with the Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo claiming bronze in 22.15 – 0.07 ahead of Dina Asher-Smith, the Briton who suffered a broken foot in February.

Fittingly, Schippers’ triumph came in the city where Blankers-Koen became the star of the 1948 Olympics, winning golds in the 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles and 4x100m – before being presented with a bicycle on her return home by the mayor of Amsterdam.



See video below for full press conference

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